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Rachel Engel finished with a match-high 24 digs

Friday November 11, 2005Engel, Collymore Guide VB To Sweep of Ole Miss; UF Clinches SEC Title Outright

GAINESVILLE, Fla.

Rachel Engel finished with a match-high 24 digs

Senior outside hitter Jane Collymore (Englewood, Colo.) tallied a match-high 15 kills, while senior libero Rachel Engel (Littleton, Colo.) added a match-high 24 digs in leading No. 5 Florida to a 3-0 win against Mississippi (30-18, 30-15, 30-12) as the Gators clinched outright the program’s 15th straight Southeastern Conference title on Friday evening before a crowd of 2,469 at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

 

Florida (24-2, 14-1) has previously clinched at least a share of the title after beating Auburn last weekend, but won it outright with a convincing victory against Mississippi (7-21, 1-14). The Gators finished with more kills (47-28), digs (57-31), aces (6-0) and blocks (10.0-1.0), while out-hitting the Rebels .387-.000.

 

“Winning the SEC was one of our goals before the season started,” Florida coach Mary Wise said. “It’s a championship won based on play over two months – that’s why it’s special. You have to play well over two months to win one of these.”

 

Sophomore opposite hitter Amber McCray (Longview, Texas) tallied nine kills on .900 hitting, while sophomore middle blocker Kisya Killingsworth (Deltona, Fla.) also had a banner day with seven kills and five total blocks with fellow sophomore middle blocker Kari Klinkenborg (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) finishing with seven kills on .600 hitting. Sophomore setter Angie McGinnis (Fraser, Mich.) guided the Gators to their impressive hitting efficiency and registered 35 assists and nine digs.

 

Florida extended its streak of consecutive matches won against Mississippi to 22, while the Gators have now won 42 straight games against the Rebels.

 

Collymore finished with an ace in the contest and moved into sole possession of third in Florida history in career aces with 169. Engel’s dig total gives her 462 for the season – the third-best single season total in Gator history.

 

After Mississippi took an early 4-3 lead, Florida responded with several extended runs before cruising to a 30-18 win. With the Rebels ahead 4-3, the Gators scored four straight points in opening up a 7-4 lead and Florida never trailed again. Mississippi did come back to tie the game at 8-8, but the Gators tallied three straight points to move on top 11-8. The Rebels fought back within one at 12-11, but Florida then scored eight straight points with Engel holding serve for seven as UF’s advantage swelled to 20-11. The Gators eventually put the match away on a kill from McCray, who was a perfect 5-for-5 with five kills on as many swings in the game. Collymore led all players with seven kills, while Killingsworth totaled five blocks in the game – a season best by any Gator.

 

The second game was again close in the opening stages before Florida used a 6-1 run to seize control en route to a 30-15 win. After the Rebels came within two at 10-8, Florida scored four straight points and six of seven to go ahead 16-9. Mississippi came within six at 17-11 before Florida tallied five straight in opening up an 11-point advantage after a service ace from sophomore outside hitter Marcie Hampton (Gainesville, Fla.). The Gators eventually closed out the match on a kill from freshman middle blocker Kelsey Bowers (Gainesville, Fla.). Collymore and Klinkenborg tied for the game lead with four kills each, while Engel paced all players with nine digs.

 

The Gators dominated the final frame as Florida raced out to an 11-1 lead and never looked back in a 30-12 win. After Mississippi scored a point to make it 2-1 in favor of the Gators, UF notched nine consecutive points behind the serve of Hampton in putting the game away early. The Rebels never came closer than nine points the rest of the way as Florida hit .429 in the game to -.057 for Mississippi. Collymore had four kills in the game and a pair of solo blocks, while Engel chimed in with 10 digs.

 

Florida, which has won or shared every SEC regular season title since 1991, returns to action for Senior Day as the Gators host their final regular season match of the season at 1:30 p.m. against Mississippi State on Sunday at the O’Connell Center. The contest can be seen live via GatorVision Online in addition to being broadcast on WRUF-AM 850 and www.GatorZone.com.

 

 

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